Digital Book Printing – New Short Run Opportunities

One of the things I've learned working with hundreds of printing companies is that changes in print technology can uncover opportunities in what are seemingly mature print markets.

In Profitable and Growing 'Hot Markets': Packaging, Direct Mail, Digital Books, Wide-Format Printing, Marco Boer, VP of I.T. Strategies, talks about some of these hot markets in printing.

“Hot markets don't necessarily have to be big, but they have to be profitable and they have to be growing,” said Boer during the inaugural PRINTING United Alliance Leadership Summit.

One of these trending growth niches is short run books.

Opportunities in Short Run Digital Book Printing

trends in short run digital book printing

As Boer mentions, the volume of book sales has declined, but the number of titles is skyrocketing. Thanks to digital printing, books today offer value in ways that offset printing can't.

✔️ Digital short-run books make it possible to economically print a few copies to a few hundred.

✔️ Versioning (variable data) also makes it possible to cater to many segments of any given market without the additional costs associated with long run offset printing.

✔️ Another feature is the sustainability inherent with short-run book production. Sustainability is a key driver in print buyers purchasing decisions today. There is near-zero paper waste in digital prep and print production. Chemical usage is minimal. There is almost no waste from excess inventories thanks to the fast turnaround of digital print. And numerous recycled and recyclable papers and substrates are now available.

Perfect bound books, also called paperback books or soft cover books, are the most common form of short-run books.

For short-run books and reports with fewer pages, digitally printed saddle-stitched books are a great alternative.

Both perfect bound books and digital saddle-stitched books have fast turnaround times, too.

Markets for Digitally Printed Books

Some examples of the book niches suitable for digital book printing include:

  • fine art books
  • business books
  • annual reports
  • catalogs
  • directories
  • manuals
  • magazines
  • sports programs
  • children's books
  • fiction and non-fiction books

Some of these niches are likely to be suitable for existing clients who might believe that books are beyond their reach. If your client is a growing company, short run books can be a prelude to bigger quantities of saddle-stitched books.

They can also be new markets for print service providers to target.

Getting the Most from the Digital Book Printing Trend

Short-run books offer an excellent growth opportunity for print service providers today. Done right, digital book printing provides the sustainability benefits demanded by print buyers today. It's economically viable for companies of all sizes. Digital book printing also offers compelling market entry points for companies of all sizes in nearly any industry.

It's our job to get the message out to clients or prospects and educate them on how print can help grow their companies in new ways.

As a wholesale digital book printer, WTP's short-run printing capabilities can get you into this niche.

For a quote on your latest book printing project, call our estimating department at 559-251-8595 ext. 1.

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